The U.S. House of Representatives is set to consider the first of several pieces of legislation adopting a piecemeal approach to reauthorizing the Higher Education Act.
Foreign visitation and tourism is an essential component of the U.S. economy. According to the Department of Commerce, total spending by international travelers in the U.S. was $180.7 billion in 2013, which supported 1.3 million of the 8.0 million American jobs attributable to travel spending.
Yesterday saw big news on the Obamacare front.
Now hobbling into the sixth year of economic recovery, Americans remain frustrated as earnings barely rise and job creation is slow. This phenomenon, however, may in part be due to a much longer-term trend: the decline in labor’s share of all income in the U.S. economy. In order to completely understand the causes and implications, it is necessary to first clearly define labor share and evaluate how it is measured. Once doing so, it is clear that some of the most frequently cited causes for its decline, like technological innovation, low unionization rates, and high income inequality, in reality have nothing to do with labor share. Rather, evidence suggests that falling labor share is a global trend, rooted in countries becoming increasingly economically intertwined.
On July 22, 2014 the DC Circuit Court ruled in favor of the Plaintiffs holding that “applying the statute’s plain meaning, we find that section 36B unambiguously forecloses the interpretation embodied in the IRS Rule and instead limits the availability of premium tax credits to state-established Exchanges... Thus, although our decision has major consequences, our role is quite limited: deciding whether the IRS rule is a permissible reading of the ACA.
The news yesterday was that Barney Frank would return to Congress to defend the law that bears his name. Meanwhile, on the anniversary of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law, Senator David Vitter took it to task for failing to solve the problem of too-big-to-fail (TBTF) banks. It is important to put the whole issue of TBTF in perspective.
The “net neutrality” debate rages on. Unfortunately, it has from the beginning been a triumph of good intentions over sound thinking. Certainly, one would not want a legal framework that allowed companies to discriminate at the expense of consumers. Mind you, that does not mean that companies will not in the end discriminate.
Regulators published $144 million in annualized costs this week with more than 2.4 million associated paperwork burden hours; no regulation monetized possible benefits. An expensive Medicare and Medicaid proposal led the week.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew waded into the “policy” discussion on inversions with a letter to Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (and other tax-writing leadership on the Hill). I found it to be full of misleading statements and mistakes, probably because the staff inadvertently sent an early draft. As a favor, I edited it for clarity of facts and intent.
Recent expensive innovations, from hepatitis drugs to proton beam therapy, raise a recurring and uncomfortable question: how much is too much to pay for new innovative treatments?